Angiogenesis and cigarette smoking in squamous cell lung carcinomas: an immunohistochemical study of 28 cases

Anticancer Res. Jan-Feb 1999;19(1A):333-6.


Angiogenesis in tumors is influenced by several factors which in turn are associated with chemoresistance or radioresistance. Moreover, the tumors of smokers are known to be relatively resistant to chemotherapy. This investigation attempts to determine whether or not a relationship exists between cigarette smoking and angiogenesis in lung cancer. Tumor samples from 14 non-smokers and 14 heavy cigarette smokers were selected for this study. The populations were matched for age, sex and tumor stage. Resistance to doxorubicin, microvessel density, the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and thrombospondin (TSP) were analyzed in both populations. Tumors of smokers were more frequently resistant to doxorubicin in vitro, had lower vessel counts and a reduced expression of VEGF compared to tumors of nonsmokers. In contrast, TSP was significantly increased in the tumors of smokers. These data show that angiogenesis in lung tumors is linked to a patient's smoking habits.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood supply*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy
  • Doxorubicin / pharmacology
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Lymphokines / analysis
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology*
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Thrombospondins / analysis
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Thrombospondins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Doxorubicin